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IHA’s Annual Event Has New Name, Look, Locations

Inspired Home Show

When the housewares industry meets in Chicago in March for The Inspired Home Show, exhibitors and attendees will find not just a new name but new displays and relocated display areas. Formerly known as the International Housewares Association (IHA) International Home + Housewares Show, The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market, will be held March 14-17 at the McCormick Place complex.

Several displays long located in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center lobby will be moving to new areas in the Grand Concourse and the North Building: 

  • The Pantone ColorWatch exhibit will be located on Level 2.5 of the Grand Concourse, allowing attendees to view the display on their way to the exhibit halls. ColorWatch will feature vignettes in eight palettes representing the strongest home furnishing trends for 2021.
  • The IHA Global Innovation Awards (Gia) for Product Design display moves to the Grand Concourse Lobby in the North Building near the Discover Design Gallery. The display will feature the five finalists in each of the 14 categories judged. New this year, sustainability has been added to the categories.
  • The IHA Global Innovation Awards (Gia) for Retail Excellence display moves to the Grand Concourse Bridge. The national winners will be featured on banners hanging across the bridge and in individual displays throughout the walkway. The displays also will designate the global honorees when they are announced at the Gia gala dinner on March 14. 
  • The IHA Student Design Competition display also moves to the Grand Concourse Lobby. And new in 2020, it will become part of the Gia program. The winning students also will be recognized at the Gia dinner along with the product, retail and booth excellence honorees.
  • The Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center Lobby will remain home to the IHA Smart Home Pavilion and add the Inventors Corner Pavilion and Inventors Revue, formerly located in the Clean + Contain Expo in the North Building. The Smart Home Pavilion will include more than 30 exhibitors of smart and connected products, the b8ta “Retail-as-a-Service” concept display, the Smart Talks stage and a new Smart Retail Experience exhibit providing a live, interactive display showing retailers what the store of the future could look like.

The Inventors Corner will feature 60 exhibitors showcasing new housewares innovations and just-ready-for-market introductions. Adjacent to the Inventors Corner, the Inventors Revue, will provide informative sessions addressing product development and marketing topics, as well as expert review panels for inventor product feedback. Both areas are high-trafficked destinations for show attendees.

Another new destination in the Hall of Global Innovation will be Social Central, offering show attendees and exhibitors opportunities to meet with social media consultants on influencer and digital marketing. Embello, an agency representing home and lifestyle influencers, will be available for one-on-one discussions about how companies can make the most of influencer marketing; and epower at home, IHA’s social media vendor, will provide free consultations to help improve a brand’s presence online. 

The Inspired Home Show 2020 will feature more than 2,200 exhibitors from around the world, including 400 new companies exhibiting for the first time. More than 52,000 total attendees, including buyers from 130 countries, are expected.

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